10 life lessons from 104-year-old Jessie Lichauco

Jessie Lichauco, subject of the documentary Curiosity, Adventure & Love, was only 18 years old when she took a 28-day boat ride by herself to the Philippines to meet statesman Marcial Lichauco, whom she had met in Washington. They married that same year, in 1933.

In Manila, apart from raising a family, Jessie kept herself busy with her socio-civic activities that helped the less fortunate.

In 2012, President Benigno Aquino signed into law an act granting her Philippine citizenship for her social contributions to the country, adopting the Philippines as her home, speaking the Filipino langugage and embracing Philippine culture.

Now, at 104, she still rocks. Here, she shares 10 secrets to living a happy and vibrant life.


1. On aging: “I’m in the age of self-preservation. I refuse to worry about things over which I have no control.”


2. On anger: “I don’t begrudge or regret. I just pick up, bandage my wounds and move on.”


3. On courage: “It takes more courage to walk away from a fight sometimes than to stand and fight.”


4. On the Filipino smile : “No matter how badly off somebody is, the Filipinos always have a smile. Their eyes light up.”


5. On keeping friendships: “If you have something nice to say, then say it.”



6. On grudges: “Holding grudges all your life is too heavy and messy to carry around with you.”


7. On living: “The whole secret of life is moderation — a little bit of everything.”


8. On opportunity: “You are as good as anyone is as good as you. The only difference is opportunity.”


9. On politicians: “The problem is that they don’t make statesmen anymore. Only politicians.”


10. On talent: “If you have a gift, put it to work — don’t ignore it.”

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